AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined 19 other state attorneys general in warning Walgreens and CVS against mailable abortion pills.

According to a press release from his office, Paxton joined two Missouri-led multistate letters sent to the pharmacy retail chains over their decision to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use the mail to sell abortion pills. The release was dated Feb. 14, but both letters are dated Feb. 1.

KXAN reached out to the Office of the Attorney General for a statement.

CVS and Walgreens both recently made announcements about their willingness to obtain and sell abortion pills via mail, according to the release.

The letters claim the companies’ decision is at odds with federal law and many states’ laws that ban abortion pills from being distributed through the mail.

In Texas, a legal battle over an abortion pill is already underway.

A decision on whether to reverse an FDA approval of mifepristone, a pill used to end pregnancies, was pushed back until at least Feb. 24. The decision, which some previously expected to come as soon as last week, could affect access to the medication across the country. 

Lawyers from the Alliance for Defending Freedom, a conservative, Christian legal advocacy group, filed a lawsuit on Nov. 18 in an Amarillo federal court on behalf of four anti-abortion plaintiffs. 

Texas District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk could side with the plaintiffs and grant an emergency injunction forcing the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone. Abortion advocates said this would pull the drug from the market and effectively initiate a nationwide ban on the medication. 

This is not the first time lawmakers have targeted such medication.

In 2021, Texas lawmakers passed two new laws restricting abortion: one banning abortion once fetal cardiac activity is detected (usually around six weeks into a pregnancy) and the other banning abortion medication being delivered through the mail. But, neither managed to stop online abortion pill providers from delivering abortion medication to those who want it in Texas.

The letter to CVS states that federal law already prohibits using mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion.’ However, the FDA finalized a rule in January that broadens the availability of abortion pills to many more pharmacies, including large chains and mail-order companies.

The Biden administration partially implemented the change last year, announcing it would no longer enforce a long-standing requirement that women pick up the medicine in person.

The letters also claim that abortion pills are “dangerous” and can “invite the horror of an increase in coerced abortions.”

David Donatti, a staff attorney for ACLU Texas, said mifepristone is now used in about half of all abortions executed in the U.S. and has had a stellar safety record in its decades of active use. He said mifepristone is considered to be as safe as Tylenol.

Read the full letter to Walgreens here, and the letter to CVS here.